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Re: [xml-dev] Is "XML" an abbreviation or an acronym?

From: <mike@mullsoft.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:04 AM
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Is "XML" an abbreviation or an acronym?

> "abbreviation - a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase,
> used to represent the whole, as Dr. for Doctor, lb. for pound.
> acronym - a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters
> of words in a set phrase or series of words, as OPEC from Organization
> of Petroleum Exporting Countries."
> The dictionary is quite clear so I cannot understand the confusion. To 
> qualify as an acronym, the abbreviation must form a *word*. To qualify as 
> a word it must appear in a dictionary, not just in the tautological sense 
> that common abbreviations appear in dictionaries, but with a meaning from 
> a different context. So GNU is a genuine acronym since it appears in the 
> dictionary as an animal. XML is definitely not. The only confusion can 
> occur when the abbreviation is pronounceable other than as individual 
> letters so that it might qualify as a word rather than just a sequence of 
> letters. A purist might disagree with the above dictionary since opec is 
> not otherwise a word despite being pronounceable. The true art of acronym 
> formation is not only to form a genuine word, but one that has some 
> relevance to the original context, though I cannot think of a good example 
> at the moment. Anyway XML certainly does not qualify!
> Mike
In that case radar and laser would not be acronyms, doesn't seem right at 


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